Flanker Magnus Lund says Sale Sharks have nothing to fear against French giants Toulon in Friday night’s European clash.
Sharks suffered a 28-11 defeat to Scarlets last time out and now take on a team who lifted the trophy in three successive seasons from 2013 and 2015.
But the French side currently sit fourth in their domestic Top 14 table, having lost three and drawn one from their first eight league games of the season.
Their stuttering form continued last week, being beaten for the first time in Europe’s premier club competition on home soil to Saracens.
Lund concedes surrendering that proud record will make Toulon all the more determined this time round but remains optimistic.
He said: “Having lost at home last weekend, I think it will probably make them come here a bit hungrier for the win.
“They’ve got a lot of experience in this cup – they’ve won it three times in a row, so they know what they’ve got to do to get through to the next round.
“They’ve put themselves under a lot of pressure after losing that first home game, so that’s going to make it a much more difficult task for us on Friday night.
“Toulon are one of the biggest teams in Europe. They’ve got plenty of world superstars who are there, so if you want to test yourself against anyone they’re up there. It’s got a bit more of a factor to it that’s for sure.
“If we manage to win on Friday it’ll be big for us moving into the Bristol game in the Aviva Premiership.
“I think it will be great for the club, not only in terms of players’ confidence, but in terms of the club growing.
“I can remember the European cup games a couple of years ago when we played Munster here, Saracens and Clermont. These are the big names that get you pumped up a little bit more, which gets more fans in. The players want to play in front of that.
“It’s a big game, everyone wants to play in it, and we’re really excited about the challenge on Friday.
“Hopefully we’ll have a big crowd down and we can win and put Sale on the map a little bit.”